Archive for August, 2018

BRAINY BEETLE

The Beetle and the Berry

Written by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock

 

Arthur is a very hungry beetle. Even though he is smaller than a freckle, Arthur has a voracious appetite. One day he discovers a huge berry that will provide him with food for a week. He tugs and pushes but the berry gets stuck on a twig with a thorn. Arthur uses problem-solving skills until he is able to release it.

This short and simple story with huge, colorful illustrations will teach toddlers persistence and resilience. Recommended as a bedtime story or read-aloud for discussion with small children.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED Button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

SHORT AND SWEET

The One That Got Away and other short stories

Written by Margaret Lynette Sharp

Three short and charming stories set in Australia. In the first containing the book’s title, Amanda writes to her sister Sonya from overseas about the love of her life, Thomas, a fisherman who has literally just “got away.” This story is poignant, yet contains humor and an optimistic bent. In the second story, a grandmother struggles with a change of fortunes and the realization that she will have to sell the piano that has given her granddaughter such pleasure. Grandma’s daughter, Angela seems cold and indifferent to her dilemma. The last story brings Caroline back to the beach where she met her true love twenty five years ago. She meets Barry, a young artist, and strikes up a conversation. He reminds her of the man she left behind long ago. A surprise ending brings the story full circle.

The author does a good job of developing her characters and creating the mood for each of these short stories. They are a quick and delightful read. Recommended for anyone age ten and older who enjoys clean well-written short stories.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

ME TOO !

Wally Raccoon’s Farmyard Olympics Team Sports

Written by Leela Hope

 

Wally Raccoon hears a loud noise; he discovers that the animals on the farm are holding a Farmyard Olympics. Eager to join in the fun, Wally attempts to join the basketball and volleyball team. He is rebuffed and informed that there is no room for him. Wally is sad and disconsolate until Danny the Deer finds a solution to Wally’s dilemma.

There are four lines of rhyming text and an accompanying illustration on each spread. At times the rhyme seems a bit forced and unnatural. There are also a few editing errors. On the other hand, the book has value for young children who have experienced being left out and lonely. Recommended for children in the three to six age group.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

FROM CALMNESS TO CHAOS

War on a Sunday Morning (Home-Front Heroes)

Written by Teresa R. Funke

I really enjoyed this narrative told from the point of view of a thirteen-year-old girl whose life changed forever on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. Rose is part of a military family recently transferred to Oahu from San Diego, California. She is missing her friends and still adjusting to life in Hawaii. Her father is assigned to the USS Oklahoma. Rose has an older brother, Lee, who constantly harasses her. She is spending the morning sketching the boats in the harbor. After a morning spent with her new neighbor, Leinana, a meeting up with a Japanese classmate, and an evening of music competitions, the stillness of the following Sunday morning, is broken by an aerial attack.

Suddenly, life on the island is shattered. Rose, her family, and neighbors are placed in terror mode. Families wait to hear about their loved ones, the Japanese are rounded up. No one knows whom to trust and communication lines are broken. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the fear, uncertainty, and human suffering, as well as developing the humanity of the individuals that are affected by the tragedy.

I would certainly recommend the book to young adult and adult audiences. The author targets the book for audiences age nine and older. This book would be an excellent choice for homeschooling parents or teachers of World War II history.

If you enjoyed reading this book, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

MUSIC AND MUSINGS

Hands (a short story)

Written by Joe Bunting

This is an interesting short story. Bunting manages to do a fairly good job of developing the plot and characters in just fifteen pages. As the story opens, Jim is an aging musician who plays for senior citizens in a nursing home. The somber mood is set. Jim has lost his true love, several years ago. His son is grown and living away from home. Jim’s memories and music are the only connections that keep him alive.

The setting switches to a restaurant where Jim has dinner with his best friend, his son, and fiancee. There is a brief discussion about politics that in some ways disrupts the main plot. Nevertheless, the author succeeds in writing a deep, thought-provoking piece filled with metaphors and interesting life scenarios.

Recommended for young adult and adult audiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

THE MANY ASPECTS OF LOVE

Mom, What is Love: The Various Aspects of Love as Perceived by Children

Written by Lili Benkel-Bergman

Illustrated by Nurit Tsarfati

This book is part of a series of books that attempt to tackle a series of emotions that young children find difficult to comprehend. In this volume, the author tries to explain the many kinds of love that one experiences throughout life. The young boy protagonist knows that he loves his mother because she is his mom. He is confused about his feelings for his younger brother, his friends, and grandparents. He reasons that if his grandparents have a love that is old, why can’t they trade an old love for a new one. What happens to love when a parent divorces? Why do some people love animals more than people? Why do we love some things and hate others?

The book jumps from one scenario to another very quickly. Parents or teachers will need to guide children in understanding the author’s point of view. I think the author’s objectives are sound, but perhaps the book is more appropriate for children a little older who are prepared to discuss these issues in greater depth with an adult. Recommended especially as a read-aloud for elementary and middle school readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

SHH….DON’T TELL

Maya Knows a Secret

Written by Daniel Georges

One day Maya asks her dad, “What is a secret?” He explains that a secret occurs when someone else tells you something that nobody else knows. Maya wonders then how does one know it is a secret. Dad explains that they will tell you not to tell anyone. Maya is dying to know a secret, but no one seems to want to tell her one. Finally, she finds one when a storekeeper reveals his secret, but Maya is frustrated when she accidentally reveals the secret to a friend.

The illustrations in this book are adorable and the message is a “spot on” way to explain the concept of a secret to young children. Highly recommended for primary school aged readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

%d bloggers like this: